|Sorry this picture made me LOL and think about working out!|
My kids see me workout every day. Every day when it's time for me to workout, I send them upstairs or into another room to play. Our rule is that if you bug me while I'm working out for something other than blood, puke, or a broken bone you have to pay me $1! This has worked VERY well so far. On a side note, I have only made $1. These kids are serious about keeping their money!
So the other day I finished my workout and as I was getting out of the shower Miss V came in and said "Mommy, why do you workout every day?" I knew this was going to be an important conversation. I had a few options to tell her so I quickly ran through them in my head before I carefully answered.
My options to tell her where . . .
"Because mommy is fat and I need to lose weight"
So let's talk about why this one is a HORRIBLE option. I don't want to offend anyone but this statement right here can have an affect on your child (son or daughter) for the rest of their lives. Your child looks to you for guidance. And especially when they are small they think we are perfect. They don't see fat rolls, or wrinkles, or rubbing thighs. They see loving arms, legs that chase them outside, and a smiling & loving face. So when we talk negative about ourselves we are inviting them to look negatively at themselves. Our society is obsessed with weight and being "skinny" and it starts far too young! I don't need to speed that processes along by telling my 4 year old (or any of my kids) that I'm fat!
"Because mommy needs to fit into those size X jeans"
(see the above reason why this one is also NOT a good reason) Also, I am worth WAY more than a number! And that includes a number on the scale or in my jeans!
"Because Daddy (or anyone else) says I need to"
Obviously I don't want my child to think that ANYONE has the right to tell them to workout and give them self worth. Working out is a personal choice and if someone loves you, they will love you the way you look! Not If/When you get to a certain size!
So after I ran though a few other options here is what I came up with . . .
"Because mommy want to stay healthy and strong so I can keep up with your munchkins!"
I felt like this was a good answer. I didn't say anything negative about myself and I told her the truth. I do want to be able to keep up with them and I do want to keep getting healthier & stronger. I also think being healthy & strong are great goals for everyone so I feel good instilling that into my kids. I want to be a good example to my kids and I think excising and eating healthy are both good things to teach them. And the best way to teach a child is to lead by example!
One more thought came to me as I was writing, a verse in 1 Corinthians came popping into my mind. 1 Corinthians 6:19&20 says "Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies." While I do believe that God made each of us special and unique in different sizes and shapes, I also think it's our job to take care of our bodies. We only have one and if we don't take care of it how can we share God's love with other people if we aren't healthy?
I'm trying to think of a really meaningful way to end this but I guess the best way would be to say "Think before you speak". That applies to a lot of things in life!